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NATLE presents Awards of Excellence to NATLE member associations that demonstrate excellence over a multitude of categories. The awards include Publication of the Year, Listserv Contributor of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and CLE of the Year. Special thanks to Ringler Associates for sponsoring the beautiful awards for NATLE and the luncheon held at the Annual Meeting. 

IMPORTANT! Read the policies and procedures here; these are especially important as the instructions for your submission(s) must be followed. Previous submissions were rejected because these policies were not followed.

A call for award nominations is issued each year according to the timeline below. The deadline to receive submissions is March 29 (or the closest business day). As submissions are accepted, copies are sent by staff to the Awards Committee for review, along with the relevant samples or materials. The committee convenes by conference call as often as necessary to discuss submissions and determine recipients. Recipients receive notice no later than the week of April 23 for the 2019 awards.
February 27: Call for award nominations.
March 29: Deadline for the NATLE office to receive award nominations.
Week of April 23: Award recipient(s) are notified and announced to NATLE members.
When making your submission, click on the link below for the appropriate award(s) and complete the form. Submitting the form alerts us to watch for your submission and will provide the committee with relevant information. Read below for the eligibility and criteria.
Nominate yourself or a colleague for the following awards.

CLE Program of the Year


Eligible products include any program that offers continuing legal education to attorneys. These programs can be live, digital, online, streamed, or any combination thereof. Annual Conventions are not eligible.


This award goes to a NATLE member association whose educational program significantly impacts attorneys in meaningful ways. The outstanding educational program has clear objectives and provides supportive educational materials, content, and methods that are audience-appropriate. The program is innovative and adaptable for other NATLE members to replicate and adapt in their CLE programs.

The program is highly rated by attendees and speakers are not only knowledgeable but are also experienced in their relative subject matter. The program has a diverse offering of speakers and innovative content and format.

Considering the organization’s resources, both financial and human, the program is cost-effective. Net revenue and percentage of membership that attend the program shall also be considered.

Innovator of the Year

The purpose of this award is to recognize and thereby encourage, innovative and sustainable contributions to the trial lawyer association community. The award may be presented to an individual or an association.


We are looking for innovations that not only address a need and solve a problem but also seize an opportunity. The innovation may or may not yet have reached the growth phase but has proven at least minimal acceptance by the appropriate audience.

The innovation creatively approaches a professional challenge and demonstrates thinking beyond the tried and true.

Submissions should answer the following questions.

  1. How is the innovation different? Does it have distinct, game-changing advantages over any alternatives?
  2. How have your members been engaged with the innovation and how has the offering been delivered and made available?
  3. What impact has the innovation had and how might it be an inspiration to future innovation and innovators within the trial lawyer community?

Listserv Contributor of the Year

This award recognizes a single individual who has made substantial listserv contributions to the betterment of the NATLE trial lawyer association community. The number of contributions to any listserv is not a consideration, rather the content of the listserv posts have engaged, educated, and motivated readers to achieve greater success professionally and personally. The individual’s posts have resulted in camaraderie and participation by fellow members.

Publication of the Year


Eligible products include books, membership directories, journals, newsletters, online research resources, etc. CLE seminar or conference materials are not eligible.


This award goes to a NATLE member association whose publication represents the highest quality in content, format, design, and usefulness. The publication has well-defined objectives and represents the trial lawyer profession in the best possible way. It serves to influence both members and broader audiences. The publication is innovative and adaptable for other NATLE members to replicate.

The publication is useful and well organized. It provides innovative content or an innovative format, whether hard copy or electronic. The writing style is clear and easy to read. The publication design is high quality and uses balanced typography.

Considering the organization’s resources, both financial and human, the publication is cost-effective. Circulation and net revenue are also taken into account when judging the publication. 



Please view submission materials on this page.

CLE Program of the Year: Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
Innovator of the Year: Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association
Listserv Contributor of the Year: Cornelius J. Larkin CAE, CMP, CEM
Publication of the Year: Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Publication of the Year: Alabama Association for Justice
Listserv Contributor of the Year: Linda Langston, CEO, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Innovator of the Year: Idaho Trial Lawyers Association
CLE Program of the Year: Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
Publication of the Year: Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
CLE Program of the Year: New Jersey Association for Justice


The Excellence in Leadership Award is the highest honor and accolade presented annually by the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE). Presented to one or more trial lawyer association executives/employees whose work for their employer(s), within the international trial lawyer community, and in civic and community affairs, represents the highest standard of professional excellence.



  • NATLE Member Trial Lawyer Association Employee
  • NATLE Member in Good Standing


The recipient will meet most of the following criteria:

  • Service to the association management profession and the community
  • Managerial/supervisory ability
  • Development of Association Staff
  • Service within NATLE
  • Leadership within the profession
  • Vision, creativity, innovation
  • Warmth, friendliness, and camaraderie

The Excellence in Leadership Award(s) may be awarded annually at the NATLE Governmental Affairs Conference. The award was established in 2007, and the deadline for submitting nominations is August 31.


Nomination Form


The Past Award Recipients

2007: Marcia Shanor, WY